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The immune system protects us against internal threats from harmful microbes like bacteria and viruses, as well as from food allergens. Such threats enter the body mainly through food, which makes the intestines the most vulnerable. This is why nature parks 80 percent of our newly created immune cells-called "naive" cells in the intestines for programming. These new cells have to be programmed into competent immune cells before they are sent out to defend the rest of the body. When your immune cells are correctly programmed, your immune system is strong and effective. Otherwise you may end up with problems that include:
• Frequent infections such as food poisoning and throat infections;
• Autoimmune diseases where the immune cells attack healthy cells;
• Food allergy, where the immune system reacts to certain foods;
• Food intolerance, where sensors in the mucus lining of the intestines cannot recognise normal foods.
Main Reasons for Weak immunity
Lack of Breast Feeding
The lack of breastfeeding is today one of the chief causes of a weak immune system. Human breast milk is extremely rich in immune factors. More critically, breast milk nutrients and probiotics play key roles in programming naïve immune cells to form a strong and effective immune system.
Use of antibiotics
The common use of antibiotics is another major culprit. Nowadays, it is not uncommon for an infant to be given antibiotics within its first few days of life. This would happen if the infant had a difficult birth, suffered respiratory problems or caught an infection. In fact, the baby would most likely have been exposed to the mother's antibiotics while still inside her womb. Later in life, children and adults may be exposed to antibiotics in contaminated meat Probiotics or "friendly bacteria" supplements are helpful for restoring an immune system weakened by the use of antibiotics.
Exposure to food chemicals and processed foods
As the child grows older, he or she gets exposed to food chemicals, highly refined and Alphe processed foods and other inflammatory foods such as vegetable cooking oils. These contribute further to the high incidence of immunological diseases. Your immune system, instead of protecting you against internal threats, ends up threatening your survival.
This content is adapted, with permission, from Book 1 of 2 : The Wonders of Nutrition by Dr Ang Poon Liat. MBBS, M.MED (PAED), MRCP (UK PAED), FAMS, MD.